DOR: Gasa is perhaps the only dzongkhag without blacktopped roads.

Of the 76km road from Punakha to Gasa, only about 20km could be considered blacktopped.

Gasa remains wet and receives rain for roughly around nine months in a year, which makes the road condition even worse.

Dzongdag Dorji Dhradhul said that due to rain, roadblocks and heavy landslides occur frequently.

Dorji Dhradhul said that bad road condition is the sole reason why taxis were unwilling to come to Gasa.

Even construction workers use the roadblocks as excuses for their delay. “We have been told by contractors working in Gasa that they were faced with difficulty in hiring trucks,” he said.

The Department of Roads, however, has started widening of 5km road from Geza to Zhameychu since October 27. The widening work is expected to be complete by June, next year, said executive engineer with Damji sub-division DoR, Palden Wangchuk.

Palden Wangchuk said that they would blacktop only around 8km road from Wargay-Margay till Mitchen after crossing Goenshari. “We need to propose for funding to blacktop the entire road,” he said.

Along with widening works, Palden Wangchuk said they were also constructing around 3km drain near Gasa.

Palden Wangchuk said that for the Gathana area in Damji, they have to wait till it gets fully stablised. The Gathana road area has been fully washed away by cloudburst on June 20, 2012 along with a bridge. Following which Gasa remained cut off for about six months.

“We were faced with several landslides on that particular stretch every year,” he said. Landslides were the main challenges.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Gasa